Traumatic Brain Injuries


What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a penetrating head injury that changes the normal function of the brain. Each year, there are several thousand TBI-related deaths and hospitalizations in Washington.

TBI Fact Sheet (PDF)

A TBI can cause a wide range of short and long-term changes to:

Thinking: memory and reasoning;

Sensation: balance, sight;

Language: communication, understanding, expressing; and

Emotion: depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, and other effects.

If you or your child has received a blow to the head that causes physical or behavioral changes, please seek medical care. Even a mild injury needs proper evaluation, diagnosis and possible treatment.


Common causes of TBI in Washington State include:

Falls: Falls from beds, stairs, windows and other living areas impact young children and older adults more than other age groups.

Vehicles: Crashes involving cars, bicycles or pedestrians can lead to head injury

Violence: Suicides are the leading cause of TBI-related death. Intimate partner violence and child maltreatment can also lead to TBIs.

Things you can do to prevent traumatic brain injuries….

Provide children with safe places to live and play. Install window guards and safety gates in the home, wear helmets when playing sports, and always use seatbelts.

Talk with your healthcare provider to take action to prevent falls.

Promote healthy relationships individually and in your community.

Safely store firearms.

Support people in crisis to get the mental health services they need.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Resources

Are you a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Understanding and Living with TBI

Resources for Survivors and Their Families

Resources for the Public

Concussion Management for Washington State Schools

Washington State Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council

Brain Injury Alliance of Washington (BIAWA)

CDC Heads Up! To Youth Sports

Do you need concussion prevention materials for your school or event? Contact the WA Dept. of Health at 360-236-2860.







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